• North Coast Environment Council

    Formed in 1976, we are the peak umbrella environment group in northern NSW. We cover the area from the Hunter to the Tweed and west to the New England Highway. We also actively support other campaigns further afield. We receive no government funding and have no paid staff or central office. Our members and office-bearers work around the region, often travelling large distances to assist others as we organise in our defence of the environment and the communities it sustains. We rely on donations and the efforts of our members and volunteers, to remain effective. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to assist us with our work, we guarantee plenty of bang for your buck. Post us a message to this site and we will get back to you.
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Flood plain development at West Byron. Climate change – what climate change?

With world Governments due to meet in Durban, South Africa to keep trying to hammer out a global agreement for action on climate change, it’s clear that Australian Governments are still largely in the denial phase.

According to NCEC President Susie Russell, this is demonstrated by the business as usual approach to planning and development, where Governments still encourage development of land subject to increasing natural hazards, using the same energy-guzzling designs.

“The proposed new suburb of Byron Bay – West Byron, is a case in point.

“The development will see about 1000 homes, plus retail and industrial buildings built on the floodplain of the Belongil Creek.

“Developing the floodplain of a coastal estuary is not wise. With sea-levels rising and rainfalls intensifying due to climate change it will subject future landowners to massive risks and hardships.

“Scientists have been telling us since the mid- 1990s that we can expect more intense rainfall events, with a likelihood of more flash flooding. One in a 100 year floods can be expected every 20 years. This is consistent with what we are seeing in Northern NSW.

“If the NSW Government accepts this ‘concept’ and rezones this floodplain for residential, retail and industrial development, will the taxpayers of NSW be responsible for picking up the tab for flood damage to this suburban infrastructure?

“The public has less than 2 days to comment on this development ‘concept’. 1 Many questions about it remain unanswered. Changes to the planning process introduced under the previous Government mean that developers can get approval before detailing exactly what they plan to do, how they plan to solve various problems or deal with particular environmental impacts.

“As a community we should be planning and building for a future of greater climatic instability, not continuing the folly of building new suburbs on flood prone land,” she said.

1. http://majorprojects.planning.nsw.gov.au/index.pl?action=view_job&job_id=3547


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